The Terrible Price of Power!!!!
Never fear, the content of this article isn’t nearly as diabolical as it sounds – It is an actual look at the price of electricity aka power.
Do you know how much you pay per Kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity used in your home, or do you just pay the energy bill routinely without ever thinking about it? I used to be of the latter description when I lived in Utah. Unfortunately we moved to a locale with one of the highest prices per kWh in the nation. We recently completed our move to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, an unincorporated territory of the United States. Prior to moving we did a lot of research and knew that the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) has extremely high rates for electricity. I never used to look at the meter, now I watch it like a hawk. When things hit the pocket book it is amazing how much you begin to care. My children are almost as tired of me telling them to “turn of the lights” as I am of telling them!
Know the Stats
Check out the state by state average for kWh prices it is pretty interesting. Unfortunately the Virgin Islands apparently don’t count in their survey so there is no info for them – thus this article.
In 2015 the US Energy Information Administration published information about average electricity usage in the US. According to their statistics the average household usage per year is 10,812 which is approximately 901 kWH per month. Back in Utah our average was somewhere closer to 856 kWh per month and the price per kWh is around $.09 cents. So here goes the math….back in Utah our average bill was around $77.00 per month.
This is where the Virgin Islands get you. The price per kWh here is approximately .32 cents. So if we maintained the same energy consumption we were using in Utah our power bill would be about 282.00 per month. YIKES! Now you know why I am watching the meter like a hawk.
Fortunately in our first month here I have found that our power consumption is much lower; in part due to the climate and in part due to constant vigilance. This month our kWh usage was 211 kWh at .32 cents for a total bill of $67.00 – not too shabby.
6 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill
Replace EVERY light fixture in your home with an LED bulb.
Yes the initial cost is expensive, but in the long run it is worth it.
If you have old energy sucking appliances and can afford it, ditch them for new energy star models.
Turn Lights Off
Turn off lights when you leave a room and make sure your kids do too.
Unplug Energy Suckers
Unplug anything that may suck phantom power if not using it (television, printer, etc).
Stop using Air Conditioning
This is specific to us being in the Virgin Islands…but could apply to others. Throw open the windows and let the Trade Winds ventilate your home. Is it as comfortable as central AC? Nope, but after about a month your body begins to acclimate to the higher temperature indoors. Conversely when you go into an air conditioned business or home, you think you might freeze to death.
Stop using a hot water heater
Ours was just not working so we opted for a cold Crucian Shower (i.e. you get wet, turn the water off, lather up, then rinse off) instead of the long luxurious hot shower. To those in colder climates – this sounds horrible. I would have balked prior to living in the Caribbean. However, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold shower at the end of a hot sweaty day to cool you down before going to sleep.
As Peter Parker stated so eloquently, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So here we are trying to be responsible and lower our energy consumption! Good luck in your own endeavors to save a few bucks and take better care of Gaia Earth!
What are some of your favorite energy saving tips?
Share in the comments below!